Category: Community

Can Do! Luncheon Honors Dallas Philanthropists

Kelcey Hamilto, Beth Thoele, Anne Reeder, and Kristi Francis at the Can Do Luncheon kick off. (Photo: Lisa Means Photography)

Within some Dallas communities, there seems to be a whole separate world dedicated to philanthropy. While countless residents devote their time and money to help those in need, some stand out from the rest.

The Wilkinson Center will recognize some of those people with awards from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 9 at the fifth annual Can Do! Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. The recipients of this year’s Can Do Awards will be The Real Estate Council, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, and Monique Weber. Beth Thoele is chairing this year’s luncheon.

Book for the Ages

Shirley Boudreau poses for a photo with Jeanne Skartsiaris. (Photo: Kelsey Kruzich)

Author Jean Skartsiaris knows a little about perseverance. For the past 20 years, she’s been slowly but steadily working on the novel she always wanted to write.

During that time, she raised a family in University Park, wrote two young adult books, and started a career as a sonographer at Texas Health Presbyterian. This past December, her efforts finally paid off with the release of Dance Like You Mean It.

The humorous story involves a family woman who is worn down by the routines and obligations of life as a working mother and wife. The protagonist, Cassie, finds her creative outlet by writing a steamy romance novel. Trouble is, she’s too shy to take credit for her work, lest the community look down on her.

Kenneth T. Novice Named Dallas Summer Musicals President

Kenneth T. Novice

Kenneth T. Novice

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) named Kenneth T. Novice  its new president. He will begin  May 1.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ken to Dallas as the next President of the Dallas Summer Musicals,” DSM Board Chair Tedd Munselle said. “His experience is the perfect blend of what DSM needs to continue to excel at what we do best, and to build upon our storied history as a leader in the Dallas arts community.” 

Meet the City Council Candidates


Voting is now underway for the hotly contested Dallas City Council District 11 seat. Incumbent Lee Kleinman is facing a challenge from popular real estate blogger Candace “Candy” Evans. People Newspapers recently talked with both of them about their positions on  key issues.  Below are a few of their answers.

Early voting will continue through May 2, and the general election will be held May 6.

Still Young Enough to Dance

Working to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, Katarina Jakimier leads ballet classes for seniors. (Courtesy photo Mary Jakimier)

Working to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, Katarina Jakimier leads ballet classes for seniors. (Courtesy photo Mary Jakimier)

Joan Bovard, 89, and Alice Jetter, 85, have taken up ballet. Jetter’s lunch mates at Presbyterian Village North (PVN) have even started calling her “Silver Swan.”

“It gives me pride,” Jetter said.

Preston Hollow resident Katarina Jakimier, 15, started running ballet classes for residents of the senior living community in hopes of earning the Girl Scouts Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn. The award requires a researched proposal and a minimum of 80 hours of service.

From Friday Night Lights to the Spotlight

Jake Allyn says acting gives him that same rush of butterflies he got on football game days. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

Jake Allyn says acting gives him that same rush of butterflies he got on football game days. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

Jake Allyn’s football career took him from the fields of Jesuit to Cornell University. He never expected his next play to be on TV.

A few years and several TV appearances later, Allyn has come full circle with his role as football player BoJohn Folsom on BET’s new series The Quad.

For Allyn, growing up in Texas meant taking on the role of a football player, which left little room in his schedule for much else.While he enjoyed making home movies with his brother when time allowed, playing football was always his top priority. It wasn’t until he joined his brother on a trip to Indonesia for a film that he realized he had other passions.

Heightened Security Yields Mixed Results at NorthPark

NorthPark Center, prompted by 2016 incidents and a petition from shoppers, is employing more security measures, including courtesy parking lot shuttles. (Photo: Laura Buckman)

Strolling around NorthPark Center, it’s obvious safety has become a top priority: security officers pacing outside stores, escorts zooming shoppers to and from their vehicles, and – perhaps most telling – lots of smiling faces.

But a greater emphasis on security hasn’t translated to fewer crimes inside the mall, and has led to mixed results directly outside of it, according to police reports.

In early 2016, following a string of parking lot robberies, including one in broad daylight, NorthPark visitors asked for more security at the upscale shopping mall located off North Central Expressway.

Esteemed chefs prepare unique dishes at Symphony of Chefs fundraiser

Jane McGarry, left, tries a bite from Top Chef Finalist Tiffany Derry's menu.

The 7th annual Symphony of Chefs benefiting KidLinks was held on Feb. 27 at the newly renovated and renamed Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station.

The culinary evening was led by Honorary Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock, Event Co-Chairs Georgia and Marc Lyons and Bonnie and Nathan Shea and Honorary Chef Chair Salvatore Gisellu with Urban Family Restaurants.

Funds raised from the event will support KidLinks’ efforts to provide healing experiences for the special needs of children through the therapeutic power of music – a unique mission that seeks to enrich the lives of children everywhere through songs of health, healing and happiness.

The night began with an hors d’oeuvres reception featuring Rising Star Chefs Jan Loov of Texas Spice, Benjamin Maulsby of Happiest Hour and Juan Orocio of 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery. DSQ Electric provided a live musical performance from the balcony in the Stationmasters Lounge lending a romantic flavor to the start of the night.

Guests then entered the ballroom for a seated four-course dinner prepared tableside by featured chefs with differing menus.

Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown prepares a dish for her table. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown prepares a dish for her table. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Each course was paired with wine selected by winemaker Willem Johnson of 4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery and a specialty cocktail using Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege cognac crafted by Joshua Hendrix, Hennessy Brand Mixologist. DSQ Electric played everything from classical music to pop throughout the dinner.

Good Morning Texas Co-Host Jane McGarry served as emcee for the evening and even got in on the action when she joined Tim Willett on stage for the culinary experiences live auction.

Julie Nelson, Dale Wilson and Tim Willet during the live auction. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Julie Nelson, Dale Wilson and Tim Willet during the live auction. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Their job was made easier after guests viewed a video called “Griffin’s Song”, bringing KidLinks’ work to life through the eyes of one young patient.

The evening concluded with a dessert reception by Pastry Chefs Dunia Borga of LaDuni Baking Studio, Tina Miller of Proper Baking Company and Tida Pichakron and Gianni Santin of Haute Sweets Patisserie.

The event was made possible in part by Presenting Sponsors Mason and Allen Custard, Emily and Bruce Robson and Kaari and James Wiklund.

The complete list of chefs included:

Jan Loov, Texas Spice
Benjamin Maulsby, Happiest Hour
Juan Orocio, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery

Kevin Ashade, Celebrity Chef
Andrew Bell, Saint Ann’s
Justin Box, The Cedars Social
Richard Chamberlain, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
Robert James Clifford, Nick & Sam’s
Tiffany Derry, The Cupboard by Tiffany Derry
Fitzgerald Dodd, Celebrity Chef
Francesco Farris, Zio Cecio
Salvatore Gisellu, Urban Family Restaurants
Gorji, Canary by Gorji
Joshua Troy Harmon, Kitchen LTO
Josh Healy, Filament
Chad Houser, Café Momentum
Nick Hurry, Proof+Pantry
Uno Immanivong, Chino Chinatown
John Kleifgen, Nick & Sam’s Park Cities
Dan Landsberg, Dragonfly
Juan Orocio, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Ken Patrick, Celebrity Chef
Jared Robinette, Le Bilboquet
Jeramie Robison, Uchi Dallas
Steven Torbron, Asador
Jacob Williamson, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck
Yutaka Yamato, Yutaka Sushi Bistro

Duni Borga, LaDuni Latin Cafe
Tina Miller, Proper Baking Company
Tida Pichakron and Gianni Santin, Haute Sweets Patisserie

For decades, KidLinks has provided healing experiences for the special needs of children through performing arts and media. The support of donors has enabled KidLinks’ musicians to perform in hospitals and special care centers across the country, funded university-level music therapy training and provided free/low cost treatment programs for children in need. Through therapeutic music entertainment and clinical music therapy programming, KidLinks reaches children of any ability level.

Funds raised go directly to the creation of content for the Hugworks Children’s Network (HCN) – content that can improve the daily experiences of children when they need it most as well as provide educational resources for the adults who care for them.